Germany’s Factory Orders Recover In May

Germany’s factory orders recovered on robust demand from both domestic and foreign markets in May as containment measures taken to curb the spread of coronavirus were relaxed, data released by Destatis revealed Monday.

Factory orders advanced 10.4 percent month-on-month in May, reversing a sharp 26.2 percent fall posted in April. This was the first increase in four months but weaker than economists’ forecast of 15 percent increase.

Domestic orders increased 12.3 percent and foreign orders rose 8.8 percent in May. Orders from euro area registered a double digit growth of 20.9 percent, while that from other countries gained only 2 percent.

The economy ministry said incoming orders indicate that the industrial recession has bottomed out.

The still low order level also shows that the catch-up process is far from over, the ministry said. The comparatively small increase in orders from non-European countries also indicates that the global economic environment will initially remain difficult.

Carsten Brzeski, an ING economist said the lifting of the lockdown measures has brought V-shaped surges in activity but the return to pre-crisis levels will not be easy.

Excluding major orders, industrial orders grew 8.9 percent in May, data showed.
Capital goods orders surged 20.3 percent and orders for consumer goods moved up 4.7 percent. New orders for intermediate goods rose only 0.4 percent.

New orders in the automotive industry logged a marked expansion from a very low level seen in April. But orders were still about 47 percent below February 2020.

On a yearly basis, manufacturing orders plunged 29.3 percent in May, slower than the 36.9 percent decrease posted in April.

Further, data showed that manufacturing turnover increased 10.6 percent month-on-month, in contrast to a fall of 22.4 percent in April.

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